Checkout FAQ

  1. Why do I need to read Film and Digital Media Department Statement of Policies?
  2. How do I get ECL equipment?
  3. What equipment do I have access to?
  4. Why doesn’t my Username and Password work with the reservation system?
  5. How do I make an equipment reservation?
  6. How long is an equipment loan? When do I have to return it?
  7. What are the Equipment Check-out lab hours?
  8. Can I change or cancel a reservation?
  9. Are there Early/Late Checkouts/Check-ins or extensions?
  10. What are the penalties for returning equipment late?
  11. Why isn’t “its not my fault, there was traffic” a good excuse for being late?
  12. What should I do if I receive equipment that isn’t working or has missing or damaged parts?
  13. Why isn’t “but I never even used it” a good excuse?
  14. What happens to the Check-In/Check-Out schedule in the event of a Holiday?
  15. Can someone else pick up my equipment for me?
  16. Can someone else return my equipment for me?
  17. How can I transfer equipment custody? (Transfer of Custody Agreement).
  18. What happens if I’ve had an accident with the equipment?
  19. What happens if someone else had an accident with my equipment?
  20. How are the equipment kits supposed to be packed?
  21. Why can’t I use a three-prong AC adapter with the lighting instruments?
  22. Why isn’t “but I didn’t know” a good excuse?
  23. I need to purchase a SHCD card for a video device/camera, what should I get?

Can’t find your question? Contact the Equipment Checkout Lab by phone (831-459-4062) or email fdmcheckout@ucsc.edu; for additional questions or concerns.

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1. Why do I need to read Film and Digital Media Department Statement of Policies?

Reading and agreeing to the FDM policies is required before you can check out equipment from the ECL. The Statement of policies will inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower of the FDM Department’s equipment and user of it’s facilities.

There is a link on the Slug Film homepage to the document or you can go there now: http://slugfilm.ucsc.edu/facilities/use_policy.php

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2. How do I get ECL equipment?

Equipment access is granted to students who have enrolled in a Film & Digital Media Department production studio or workshop course, and have fulfilled the supplementary requirements mandated by the production program.

Specifically, students must have enrolled in the course on AIS, paid the associated course fee, and completed all required on-line training modules with 100% passing grade on their associated tests. Training modules are located on the Slugfilm home page Equipment Loan Reservation System (ELRS) , which production students are expected to utilize for submitting requests for equipment loans. Equipment loan reservations are claimed at the Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) facility in the Communications Building.

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3. What equipment do I have access to?

The equipment available to students depends on the course. Every class has a distinctive compilation of equipment allocated to provide students with the means to complete their course assignments.

Students will be given an allocation of 24 half day time blocks per quarter for each of the following: cameras, audio kits and lighting kits.

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4. Why doesn’t my Username and Password work with the reservation system?

Students may experience problems with logging into the Equipment Loan Reservation System (ELRS) for a number of reasons:

  • Failure to properly enroll in the course on AIS.
  • Being dropped from the course.
  • Typo entering your information
  • No contact phone number

Students should follow this troubleshooting list before contacting the ECL regarding their access problems.

If the problem persists, contact the ECL at fdmoperations@ucsc.edu for additional assistance.

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5. How do I make an equipment reservation?

Students who have enrolled in their production course via AIS, paid the associated course fee, and completed the supplementary requirements will be granted access to the online Equipment Lab Reservation System (ELRS); which students are expected to utilize for submitting requests for equipment loans.

To make a reservation, students must first log into the ELRS (https://slugfilm.ucsc.edu/checkout/reservations/login.php). The login is your CruzID login. The password is your seven-digit Student ID number.

To make a reservation, students must first log into the ELRS. Each student’s login is also their CruzID login, but their password is NOT their corresponding CruzID password — instead, their seven-digit Student ID number is used.

Loan periods will are based on ½ day “time blocks”. There are “AM Blocks” and “PM Blocks”. Equipment can be checked out and returned daily during either the AM Block or the PM Block (Exception: All Friday returns are due by 10:00AM). Each item may be kept for up to 12 consecutive blocks depending on availability. Students will be allocated 24 blocks of time for each of the following items: camera kits, audio kits, and lighting kits.

After logging in you will see a page with links to your past, current and future reservations if you have any.

To reserve an item:
1) Click on the “Reserve an Equipment Item by Category” link.
2) Select the pick up and return dates and times as well as the category am era, audio etc.) and click on the “Go to Step 2” box.
3) You will see the items in that category that are available to you and whether or not the item is already reserved for the time period specified.
4) Select the box next to any item you wish to reserve and then click on the “Submit” box.
5) You should then see a verification of the reservation you just made.
6) You may select “cancel” if the reservation is not correct.

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6. How long is an equipment loan? When do I have to return it?

Days are divided onto “AM” and “PM Blocks”. The minimum loan duration is 1 block (½ day). The maximum loan duration is 12 blocks (6 days). Within those time frames, the only constraint on the duration of a loan is the availability of the equipment. There are no weekend check-outs or returns. Saturday and Sunday each count as two blocks.

Loans that are due in an AM block must be returned to the ECL between 9:00AM and 12:00 Noon on Monday through Thursday. Loans that are due in a PM block must be returned before 5:00PM on Monday through Thursday. Loans due in the Friday AM block are due by 10:00 AM. There are no Friday afternoon returns. Equipment returned after 10:00AM on Friday will be considered late. There are no Friday returns in the PM block.

Equipment may be returned early for partial refund of the number of time blocks remaining on the current reservation. The refund would be ½ the remaining reservation time blocks.

(See What are the penalties for returning equipment late?)

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7. What are the Equipment Check-out lab hours?

The Equipment Check-out Lab is open Monday through Friday from 9:00AM to 12:00PM (the AM Block) and from 1:00PM to 5:00PM (the PM Block). If the door is closed during these hours please ring the bell.

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8. Can I change or cancel a reservation?

Yes. Reservations not yet picked up, may be canceled (deleted) with no penalty to the student if the cancelation is made before 12:00 Noon the day of the reservation. It is however preferable to cancel a reservation as soon as you know you will be using the equipment. If equipment is returned earlier than originally scheduled, the borrower will be “refunded” half the number of blocks remaining on the original duration of the reservation.

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9. Can I extend a reservation?

Maybe. If the equipment is available, reservations may be extended if the extension is made before the end of the current reservation. However, equipment may be already reserved; therefore borrowers should not assume they will be able to make an extension to a reservation. The original loan duration and the extension may not exceed 12 blocks.

On your unique home page of the ELRS click on “View currently checked out items”. Click on “CREATE AN EXTENSION”. Add new dates and if item is available click on “Create extension to Reservation”.

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10. What are the penalties for returning equipment late?

All students are obligated to contact the Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) in the event they anticipate they will be late returning their equipment loan (831-459-4062 ) or fdmcheckout@ucsc.edu

This notification does NOT excuse the student from the Late Fee penalty levied for failing to meet the contractual return deadline. Late Fees are $15 dollars per reserved item per each time block the equipment is late. Where applicable, deductions from the student’s equipment allocation will also be made for each time block equipment is past due. The first time a student is late returning equipment in any given quarter, if the return is made within the half-day time block immediately following the original return deadline, the student will receive a written warning but will not be charged a late fee. Standard late fees will apply for any subsequent time blocks the equipment is late. For any additional occurrences of equipment returned late, no “Grace” period will be given.

Emergency Exception:
Students will be excused from the Late Fee penalty only in the event of a sudden emergency, such as a personal or vehicular accident, which is reasonably unforeseeable. Tardiness due to foreseeable contingencies will NOT qualify as an emergency.
Students are expected to make contingency plans for returning equipment on-time; be it through the agency of a classmate or other trusted third-party.

Equipment returned late is automatically “flagged” by the reservation system as being late.

DON’T – Wait until the last minute to try and return your equipment!

(SEE: Why isn’t “its not my fault, there was traffic” a good excuse for being late? ).

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11. Why isn’t “its not my fault, there was traffic” a good excuse?

The Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) does not exonerate students from the Late Fee penalty in the event that they miss the contractual equipment loan return deadline on the basis that their tardiness was due to traffic delays.

The ECL expects students to account for the logistics entailed by returning their equipment loan on-time, in accordance with their contractual responsibility defined by the Conditions of Use outlined in the Film & Digital Media Department’s Statement of Policies.

The ECL is open three hours for the AM block (except Friday) and four hours in the PM block providing a wide window of opportunity for students to return their equipment loans on-time. Planning on waiting until the last half-hour to return equipment leaves students vulnerable to missing the return deadline in the event of unforeseeable delays, which could have been otherwise compensated for by budgeting time more responsibly.

Time-conflicts or overlaps with the ECL’s return hours can also be responsibly compensated for by planning in advance, and the ECL expects that students will take steps to avert time-conflict issues to the best of their ability.

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12. What should I do if I receive equipment that isn’t working or has missing or damaged parts?

What should I do if I receive equipment that isn’t working or has missing or damaged parts?

Great efforts are made by the Equipment Checkout lab to prevent this from happening. However, because oversights are possible, borrowers must also be proactive. The FDM policy, which has been devised to help minimize equipment issues, is as follows:

“By signing the Equipment Loan Form, the Borrower acknowledges the FDM Department’s expectation that they will examine all equipment shortly after assuming custody, for the purpose of verifying that they have received the equipment with all components and accessories accounted for, that the equipment is in proper working order, and that any damage, if present, has been noted. It is therefore advised that borrowers check equipment for components and accessories before leaving the checkout area. The equipment’s ID tag serves as a record of the components and accessories associated with any given piece of equipment as well as any pre-existing conditions. Any claims to missing components or accessories, non-operational equipment or pre-existing damage must be reported at the BEGINNING of the loan period and before the equipment is used. Waiting to report discrepancies until the return of equipment shall be interpreted as an admission of responsibility, and the Borrower shall be held to the contract, regardless of whether or not they actually utilized the equipment.”
To contact the ECL : (831) 459-4062 or fdmcheckout@ucsc.edu
(Related: Why isn’t “but I never even used it” a good excuse?)

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13. Why isn’t “but I never even used it” a good excuse?

The Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) will not exonerate students returning damaged equipment from their responsibilities for the equipment’s condition on the basis of the claim that they “never even used it” or that they “never even opened the case.”

The Conditions of Use outlined in the Film & Digital Media Department’s Statement of Policies specifically states that it is the student’s responsibility to contact the ECL in the event that they have received equipment in questionable condition.

This particular policy is designed to prevent students from evading personal liability by falsely claiming that they received damaged equipment. Instead, the burden of proof has been placed on the student to validate their claim by reporting problems as soon as possible; essentially, to personally examine the equipment they’ve received upon assuming custody to proactively protect themselves against personal liability for damages they are not responsible for.

As such, if the ECL discovers equipment damage without prior indication from the student that the damage preceded their assumption of custody, or if the student waits until returning the equipment to inform the ECL that they received damaged equipment, the ECL will assume by default that the student is the actual party responsible for all damages observed.

RELATED:
Why isn’t “but I didn’t know” a good excuse?

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14. What happens to the Check-In/Check-Out schedule in the event of a Holiday?

The Equipment Check-out lab will be closed on official University holidays. There are no check-outs or returns on these days.   Reservations that cross official University holidays will not be charged against allocations of equipment blocks for those specific holiday days only.  Regular days (including weekends) in the reservation period will be charged against allocations of equipment blocks.

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15. Can someone else pick up my equipment for me?

No.

Equipment reservations are associated to specific student accounts; releasing equipment loans to another individual would disrupt the chain of custody and interfere with the Equipment Checkout Lab’s (ECL) ability to hold borrowers responsible for their treatment of Department property.

The latter of which is detrimental to the general production student population, as it would precipitate an accelerated rate of equipment failure; the deterrence of which being the ECL’s underlying goal.

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16. Can someone else return my equipment for me?

Yes; thought it is not recommended.

Even though the equipment is being returned by another individual, the student who signed-out the equipment loan (the legal signatory) will still be held responsible for the condition of the equipment upon return; as per the Conditions of Use outlined in the F&DM Department Statement of Policies.

This arrangement can leave the original signatory vulnerable to incurring Late Fee penalties if the other student returning their equipment loan on their behalf is late; as the signatory will not be exempted from any penalties on the grounds that “it was the other person’s fault.” Being responsible for the equipment entails taking responsibility for any decision that effects the equipment; including equipment returns through an intermediary.

For this reason, the ECL strongly discourages students from resorting to using an intermediary for equipment loan returns, if other alternatives are available.

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17. How can I transfer equipment custody? (Transfer of Custody Agreement)

Click here to download the Transfer of Custody Agreement.
Students may formally transfer custody, and therefore personal liability, of the equipment from one classmate to another, using the Department’s “Transfer of Custody Agreement” Form (ToCA Form), available on the Slugfilm website: http://slugfilm.ucsc.edu/checkout/downloads/toc_agreement.pdf

The Transfer of Custody Agreement is essentially a contract between two students, whereby both students agree that the equipment being transferred from the custody of the original signatory (or borrower) to the subsequent signatory (or secondary borrower) is in the condition that both have mutually recognized, in accordance with appraisal guidelines provided by the ToCA Form. This allows the Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) to identify the responsible signatory in the event of equipment damage or loss.

To use the ToCA Form, students must observe the following:

A. Both students must fill out and sign the ToCA Form at the point of transfer.

NOTE: An incomplete ToCA Form will not be recognized as valid, and the Primary Borrower will still be held responsible for the equipment upon return as signatory and sole custodian.

B. By signing the ToCA the secondary borrower who is receiving the equipment from the primary borrower agrees to abide by the terms stated on the Equipment Loan Form. These would include being personally and financially liable for any equipment received from the primary borrower as well as returning the equipment to the Equipment Checkout Lab within the prescribe loan period of the original reservation.

NOTE: Only items listed and appraised will be considered “transferred”; it will be assumed that the Primary Borrower retained custody of any items left off of the ToCA Form list.

C. The primary borrower should retain the ToCA in their possession and return it to the ECL.

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18. What happens if I’ve had an accident with the equipment?

In the event of an accident with equipment in their custody, students are obligated to contact the Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) IMMEDIATELY; which the student has contractually agreed to do, per the Equipment Loan Form signed upon release of the equipment to their temporary custody.

It is at this juncture that the Checkout Lab Specialist (CLS) will intervene to assess the damage and determine responsibility for the accident; based on whether the student was negligent in their use or care of the equipment.

Negligence is defined as misuse of equipment (or using the equipment in manner unintended by the manufacturer), which precipitates performance degradation or failure; including the placement of equipment in harm’s way, with or without regard for foreseeable circumstance or consequence.

If the accident was the result of Negligent misuse, unintentional or otherwise, the student will be held financially liable for any and all costs associated with the cleaning, repair or replacement of the equipment; as per the Conditions of Use outlined in the Film & Digital Media Department’s Statement of Policies and contractually agreed to upon signing the Equipment Loan Form.

Alternately, if the accident was not the result of negligent misuse, but instead due to the eventual failure of an equipment component in the natural course of its Wear & Tear, the student will not be held responsible for the equipment damage entailed.

Regardless of the cause, students are still obligated to report accidents or failures immediately. Do NOT wait until returning the equipment; doing so will be interpreted as an admission of responsibility, and the borrower will be held to their contractual agreement for liability by default (SEE: “Why isn’t “but I never even used it” a good excuse?” , “Why isn’t “but I didn’t know” a good excuse?” ).

Liability issues aside, it is ultimately within the student’s best interest to report the problem promptly, as it better enables the ECL to replace parts or exchange kits so that the student may continue production with minimal interruption. As such, reporting problems will reduce delays to a student’s production schedule.
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19. What happens if someone else had an accident with my equipment?

In the event of an accident while the equipment is in the possession of an individual other than the initial borrower, the student borrower is obligated to report it to the Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) IMMEDIATELY upon discovery; which the student has contractually agreed to do, per the Equipment Loan Form signed upon release of the equipment to their temporary custody.

In terms of liability, the ECL holds the student who signed the Equipment Loan Form solely responsible for the equipment; as they have agreed to take direct responsibility for the condition of the equipment when they became the legal signatory and assumed temporary custody.

Whether or not the legal signatory was personally responsible for precipitating the accident is immaterial from the perspective of this contractual agreement.

As such, once an accident or equipment failure has been attributed to Negligence by the ECL, the student borrower will be held financially liable for any and all costs associated with the cleaning, repair or replacement of the equipment, in accordance with Policy.

In such instances, when billing is involved, the ECL does not arbitrate the “reimbursement” of the legal signatory by the actual perpetrator; such matters are beyond the scope of the ECL’s roles and responsibilities. It is up to the parties involved to do the right thing by one another, if a student has caused a classmate to be billed for their actions.

In light of these considerations, the ECL strongly cautions students against “loaning” out their equipment loans to other fellow students, without some modicum of supervision. If supervision of the “loaned” use is unfeasible, the ECL would recommend that the interested parties utilize the Transfer of Custody Agreement Form (ToCA Form) to formalize the transfer of personal liability for the equipment (SEE: “How can I transfer equipment custody? (Transfer of Custody Agreement).” ).

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20. How are the equipment kits supposed to be packed?

Packing instructions are included with every equipment kit packed in a case. They can be found either in the lid of the case, or in the main compartment of the case.

As proper storage is consistent with the proper usage of equipment, the Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) expects students to follow the packing instructions provided, in addition to exercising their better judgment for the purposes of equipment care.

Equipment kits that are returned packed improperly will result in a $10.00 Messy Packing Fee penalty. This penalty intends to deter abusive behavior that precipitates accelerated equipment failure, as the improper packing of equipment does reduce the lifespan of equipment components; cables in particular.

If packing instructions are absent from an equipment kit, students are expected to notify the ECL of this discrepancy, as required of any instance of receiving equipment in questionable condition, per the Conditions of Use outlined in the Film & Digital Media Department’s Statement of Policies.

In which case, the ECL would relay to them a copy of the packing instructions, so that the student can pack the equipment properly.

For students interested in collaborating with classmates who have their own equipment loan packages, the ECL cautions against mixing-up components of similar kits. All constituent items are labeled after the Equipment ID number of the parent kit, enabling students to keep equipment components properly separated.

As such, the ECL expects students to return all equipment kits with the proper constituent components. Any mix-up of parts between kits will be considered an instance of messy and improper packing, and the Messy Packing Fee penalty will be levied accordingly.

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21. Why can’t I use a three-prong AC adapter with the lighting instruments?

Three-prong to two-prong AC adapters, also called ground-bypass adapters, are prohibited against use with lighting instruments because of the extreme risk of electrocution.

All lighting instruments are wired to power their lamps using the raw AC current provided by a grounded electrical outlet. The instruments do not “step-down” or adjust the current at all; that is all done by the lamp filament itself.

As such, if the instrument short-circuits and becomes electrified, handling the instrument without protection would be akin to sticking a fork in an electrical socket.

The grounding of any electrical connection is designed to help protect against injuries in these instances. Without it, any person who comes into contact with an electrified short-circuited lighting instrument would become the ground for the electrical current, instead of the ground-prong.

As a result, the raw current would pass through the person’s body, likely causing extensive burn-injury and potentially death by fibrillation of the heart.

For these reasons, it is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to use these three-prong AC ground-bypass adaptors; which is why the Equipment Checkout Lab expressly forbids it, for the sake of students’ safety.

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22. Why isn’t “but I didn’t know” a good excuse?

The Equipment Checkout Lab (ECL) will not exonerate students returning damaged equipment from their responsibilities for the equipment’s condition on the basis that they were unaware that the equipment was received damaged or that they had inadvertently damaged it.

The Conditions of Use outlined in the Film & Digital Media Department’s Statement of Policies specifically inscribes proper and discretionary use of the equipment within the scope of the student’s responsibilities; insofar as treating the equipment otherwise is defined as Negligence.

Meaning, the ECL expects students to take initiative with informing themselves about the equipment they are using; in a sufficient capacity to operate the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s intended design, and to inspect the equipment for indicators of equipment damage or compromised performance.

These expectations are intrinsically necessary for any student to be capable of fulfilling their basic responsibilities to the equipment, as mandated by the Statement of Policies.

RELATED:
Why isn’t “but I never even used it” a good excuse?

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23. I need to purchase a SHCD card for a video device/camera, what should I get?

Please visit our Recommended SDHC Media Page (http://slugfilm.ucsc.edu/production_support/?page_id=3293) which has a detailed list of suggested brands and class ratings. This also includes the specific cards we use in our SDHC compatible cameras.

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If you have further questions that are not covered by any of the FAQ answers listed here, please feel free to contact the Equipment Checkout Lab or Checkout Lab Specialist for additional inquiries .

Thank you for your feedback!

UPDATED: 04/01/13